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Bradham Looks To Relive Schwartz Days

Posted Mar 11, 2016

Over the past few days at the NovaCare Complex, new additions Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks spoke about their familiarity with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme from their days together in Buffalo and cited that as one of the biggest reasons why Philadelphia became their preferred destination. On Friday, Nigel Bradham’s story was much the same.

“Jim Schwartz’s scheme, I feel like it fits my style of play very well,” Bradham said. “(It allows me to be) an aggressive linebacker, attacking, pretty much just knowing his scheme and playing football to the best of my ability. He let me play free and be aggressive. I’m a tough-nosed player and I’m going to be able to do a lot of things in this defense. That’s for sure.”

A fourth-round pick out of Florida State in 2012, Bradham spent his first four NFL seasons with the Bills. Over that time period, Bradham started 38 games. His prolific season, as you might guess, came in 2014, the only season in which Schwartz was Buffalo’s defensive coordinator. Bradham started 14 games, recorded his first career interception and forced two fumbles to go along with a career best of 104 tackles.

“That scheme is a great scheme to be in because you really get to use all of your strengths as a player, and he knows that,” Bradham said. “He utilizes all of your strengths, from each player on the defense. With that being said, everybody was able to have fun and was able to play because the scheme was simple and not complex, to where you can really communicate, even in road games when it’s really loud.”

Not only has Schwartz earned the trust of his players by getting results on the field, Bradham explained that Schwartz’s attitude when it comes to dealing with people is another quality that makes teammates gravitate to him.

“He’s a straight-forward guy,” Bradham said. “He’s going to tell you what’s real and he’s going to let you know what you have to do to get the job done and win games. Players like that. He’s a players’ coach. We like coaches to be straight-forward with us and honest. That’s how he won us over in Buffalo. He was really honest with us and we put it all on the line. That’s the kind of coach you want to play for.”

Not only did Bradham spend a full season playing for Schwartz in Buffalo, but he also has experience playing against Doug Pederson’s offense. The Chiefs and Bills squared off in 2014, and Bradham believes everything that he’s been able to put on film played a big role in him landing in Philadelphia.

“I played well in (Schwartz’s) scheme and I’m pretty sure they went on tape and saw what I had done in his scheme and pretty much liked it. I also had the opportunity to play against Coach Pederson when he was in Kansas City, so I’m pretty sure that came into play too ... There’s a lot that factored into it.”

A former five-star recruit out of Wakulla High School in Crawfordville, Florida, Bradham’s downhill style of play has defined his game. Now, the 26-year old is excited to have his skill set match his location.

“I feel like my style of play will fit this city pretty well, with my toughness and my mentality,” Bradham said. “I feel like this scheme is just perfect for me as a player, so that’s why I chose (the Eagles).

“I’ve played both strong side and weak side. I feel like I can play both. I’m a really versatile linebacker. Pretty much however I fit in his scheme and with the personnel and everything that we’re getting ... We’ll see how it goes with the scheme and where they want me to play, but I’m going to compete and do a tremendous job.”

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